From his pictures, Dustin Gessert looks like he and actor Bradley Cooper were separated at birth. But Gessert, an officer with the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department, made his own headlines recently as the leading man in a rescue story.
On an 85-degree day at the end of May, Officer Gessert was responding to an unrelated child welfare 911 call when he came across what could have been a tragic situation. He had to look twice before he saw the small boy, left alone in a car.
Every 10 days, across the United States, a child dies while unattended in a hot car. It only takes a few minutes for a car to heat up and become deadly to a child inside. As summer temperatures rise, more kids are at risk – the death toll this summer has already exceeded 20.
As parents, we often have conflicted feelings about safety: On the one hand, we can sometimes be too cautious, overestimating our child’s level of risk of a particular danger. And at the same time, we can completely dismiss certain hazards, assuming our child would never be affected. This is especially true of one particular kind of accident.
As summer temperatures continue to climb across the country, it’s important to remember that while these summer days are great for the pool and the beach, they’re not so good for the inside of cars, which can raise to deadly temperatures in a very short period of time.
Sadly, since 1998, at least 910 children across the United States have died from heatstroke.